How much in a day?

Fruits are sweet treats that are also super nutritious. They include many of the vitamins we need as well as fiber. They come in every color of the rainbow, and it is important to choose a variety because different colors contain different nutrients. Typically, the darker the color is, the more nutrition.

Daily Recommendation*
Children 2-3 years old: 1 cup
4-8 years old: 1 to 1.5 cups
Girls 9-13 years old: 1.5 cups
14-18 years old: 1.5 cups
Boys 9-13 years old: 1.5 cups
14-18 years old: 2 cups
Women 19-30 years old: 2 cups
31-50 years old: 1.5 cups
51+ years old: 1.5 cups
Men 19-30 years old: 2 cups
31-50 years old: 2 cups
51+ years old: 2 cups


*These amounts are appropriate for individuals who get less than 30 minutes per day of moderate physical activity beyond normal daily activities. Those who are more physically active may be able to consume more while staying within calorie needs. Source: MyPlate

In general, one cup counts as:

  • 1 small whole fruit
  • 1 cup of 100% fruit juice
  • 1/2 cup of dried fruit

Pack and go!

When it is snack time, grab an apple or orange, or plastic bag filled with cherries or grapes. Fruit can be just as convenient as chips or cookies if you plan ahead just a bit.



Storing and Discarding

Check before you buy

  • Hold the bag or carton up and look at the bottom for smashed or moldy fruit. The packaging should protect the product.

Treat with care at home

  • Use fresh items first; have an immediate plan for using fresh berries and cherries which can spoil quickly.
  • Rinse fruit under clean, running water and drain.
  • Do not rinse berries or cherries until ready to use.
  • Most fruit will keep a week when refrigerated, but quality declines over time.

Prevent waste

  • Cut up blemished or damaged fruit for salads or snack cups.
  • Freeze fruit if it won’t be eaten soon.
  • Write purchase date on canned and frozen packages, and use the oldest ones first.
  • Add nearly-too-ripe fruit to yogurt or use in smoothies, muffins, cobblers, or crisps.


Fruit Choices

Fresh, canned, frozen, dried, and 100% juice are all healthy choices.


  • Purchase fruit in season for best price and quality; consider freezing extra fruit if time and space allow.
  • Choose smaller fruits when buying apples, oranges, bananas, and other individual fruits that are sold by the pound. The smaller size fruits are closer to the one-cup recommended serving size.
  • Pre-cut fruit is at least three times more expensive and spoils faster.


  • Choose fruit packed in juice or water.
  • Watch for sale prices and stock up on your family’s favorites.
  • Use coupons or select the generic brand.
  • Use unit pricing; individual-size containers can cost twice as much as larger containers.


  • Check the label and choose unsweetened fruit.
  • Frozen fruit bars can make a nutritious snack but read the label and choose ones made with real fruit juice.
  • Watch for sale prices and stock up on your family’s favorites.


  • Keep an eye on portions; 1/2 cup dried fruit is a one-cup fruit equivalent of fresh, frozen, or canned fruit.
  • Make your own snack packs by measuring 1/2 cup amounts into plastic bags or small containers.
  • Compare brands and package sizes using unit pricing.
  • Raisins are generally the least expensive dried fruit, but all dried fruits can be a smart alternative to candy or cookie snacks.


  • Check labels carefully and choose 100% juice. Fruit punch and juice drinks are not 100% juice.
  • Frozen concentrate generally provides more servings per dollar than other choices.
  • Add lemon or lime slices to chilled water for an alternative thirst quencher.